Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A new Chapter Part 2...

I have had so much to process with this big news of our baby. I wrote most of this a few weeks ago as an outlet ...I'm going to move forward with posting. :)
At this writing I am just around 7 weeks (as of the date of the posting above I am heading into my 11th week) and it's really starting to settle in. My round ligaments have gotten the message loud and clear, I stand up too fast and I am down in a fetal position- complete involuntary collapse. I don't remember that being so crazy with previous babies. But then again I think you develop amnesia about all of this craziness.
I am feeling nauseous by turns and very tired, the dizziness hits hard and often. I have the worst insomnia I have ever had. I can't fall asleep! I am tired and draggy but I can't fall asleep, that's never been an issue before. I am very crabby. Also worried, always worried and burst into tears at random intervals. Having experienced the loss of such a sweet unexpected hope before....I both feel the pain once more, and worry about having to face it again.

 And yet, on some level I feel like this is meant to be. Deep down I am not worried, good at working myself up, but not truly worried. For whatever reason I feel deeply, like I did with the others that I have held in my arms, this sixth person is destined to join our family.  It wasn't what I thought I wanted, but now that we're here: it feels so so right and I want to hold this new person so so badly.

6 week bump...yeah apparently by #4 (well really #6) your uterus just dives right in, I had a weird feeling and odd little bloat before I even knew I was pregnant! Hence the Birthday Muffin Top.

We don't know if this will be a "baby brudder", and frankly we aren't too worried about having a "boy" in the house. It would be fun to get to experience raising a son...Holding that squishy fresh newborn boy I have carried in my heart. To watch him grow and learn from his sisters and be shaped and molded, to love, respect and let the women in his life shine as God designed. It would be a gift.
At the same time though, if I get him, I don't get her. That sweet somebody all fresh with rosy cheeks and bright eyes. I would love to hold her just as well and to watch her grow up along her sisters. Four strong beautiful women who are passionate about Love and Loving all, and grow up to do great things.

There would be a little smidge of grief either side of the coin, because either side would be lovely. Some thing that has become so clear to us as we've raised our three so far: kids are people and they are SO different. We are not raising them to be defined by a gender, apart from what they identify with and choose to carry for themselves. We don't have a "boys do this and girls do that" approach to relationships in our family. People are people and their identity is in Jesus not their gender or how that gender traditionally behaves.

A boy wouldn't change our family any more than a girl would. This person is going to change things either way, because each child brings it's own unique energy to a home. RJ has her spunk, humor, gentleness, love for ideas, and nurturing nature.  AJ with her wild "push" energy, ability to make things happen quickly, vivacity, noise, rough and tumble ways, sweetness, and "turn your hair grey" stunts. And Pip with her sweet soulful eyes, thoughtful ways, big questions, goofy, humor, wisdom, curiosity, quirks, energy...and noise. Having three such different children, I am excited to find what a fourth brings.

We told the kids about a week after we found out because I have been feeling so sick and we didn't want them to worry. RJ looked like we just told her that her wishes were coming true, favorite moment ever.
 Pip has dropped the "baby brudder" business and upon hearing there was an actual baby coming, announced that it IS a girl. She is adamant and she wants to "do her hairw when she is borned" and "dwess her up". I think she is getting a real live bitty baby...With hair!
 AJ commented that a boy would be fun, and when I told her that girls seem to run in our family, she has taken that and run with it. She named her Lilly. ( name but we have enough "y" ending names around here!)
And RJ is kind of hoping for a brother, she "really wants a baby brother" she said gently, "I think it would be fun, baby boys are so cute, he could wear the fox pajamas."
The fox pajamas were bought, brand new with the tags on, at a yard sale for $0.75 when I was pregnant with AJ. We recently (okay in October) found them when unpacking some boxes and the girls thought they were the cutest thing ever, and asked why we never used them. The truth is, I forgot we had them! I had pulled them out for Pip, but she was such a peanut they ended up being the wrong season. But this baby isn't. This baby is just right and boy or girl this baby is using the "fox pajamas". The pajamas that have been hanging in the laundry room since last summer (when we unpacked them) and that I couldn't, for some reason, bring myself to get rid of...It felt like it would be abandoning a dream some how.

And we get to dream and wait...Excited, nervous, but mostly excited. After 6 months of having a 4th child in the house 45 hours a week I don't think this transition is going to be what it was last time. My oldest will be almost 8... My middle newly 6 and my youngest nearly 4.
It will be so fun to see them experience this baby as bigger kids! Seriously nothing compared to the last couple times where they were so litttle and so needy and nobody slept...for years.
Throw in a toddler with undiagnosed special needs, a preschooler with some fine motor delays and who still needed help with every thing...And a newborn who stayed up until 2a.m. every night until they were about 10 months old (did I say newborn...I meant baby). Well this time will be completely different.
This pregnancy has already been different. I have more energy than I have ever had in the first trimester. And I'm not chasing a 1 year old! There are no diapers to change, the almost-preschoolers have potty trained...The big kids understand when I need to rest, or say I am not feeling good. They get themselves snacks, they help the little ones use the bathroom and wash their hands. Really all but for the occasional accident, I rarely have to concern myself with any one else's bathroom business.
 Luxury, seriously!

While there are aspects I was glad to be "done" with the thought of, I am trying to gear myself up for another round. I have been nursing-except for a 3 or 4 month break-pretty much the past 7 years straight.  I was feeling pretty satisfied and okay with that journey ending.  The fact that when this is all said and done, I'll be looking at over a decade of pregnancy and breastfeeding, well I feel tired.
I do look forward to the milkie smiles, the milk drunk content baby heavy in my arms.

All in all I am  more excited than I thought I would be. It's kind of fun to get to do this outside of the haze...To be heading into my 30's and feel like I know more of where we're headed, more of who I am, more about who I am as a parent. To get to enjoy this with Hubby Joy again, really sit back and love it together. There have been so many moments over the last three years we've really loved and grown to appreciate about being in the trenches with babies and little kids, I'm excited to do it again.

Especially now that we have gotten a nice little break from the constant chase of babies and little toddlers and several months stretch of getting to sleep through the night (first time in 7 years). To really have gotten to enjoy breastfeeding a baby to where we both feel ready to wean (she's still going strong twice a day but I'm sure that will change as my milk supply dries). It also feels good to have the perspective of having slightly older kids, these years of littleness truly are so brief. It is draining and hard but the time passes so quickly. I feel like I have so much more perspective than I did nearly 4 years ago (!!) when I got pregnant with Pip.
I would have been pretty well satisfied to stop with Pip. But now that the door is open I am ready and it feels good to have the closure and knowledge going into it THIS is the last. This is the last season of babyhood for our family...After this we move on to growing our family in different ways.

And closure is always a good thing. Here's to a new adventure!

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